Tumeric based products have been popping up everywhere lately- from Tumeric Marshmallows I found at Squish Marshmallow, New York City, to turmeric based drinks sold at local markets. Turmeric has been an herb used in Aruyvedic medicine for ages and will likely be the next “superfood” to emerge in today’s health culture. So what is turmeric, how is it good for you, and how do you use it?
.Used in many Indian recipes, turmeric is excellent for reducing inflammation. Turmeric has also been used to dye linens, add color to foods, and used as a litmus test for pH, where the strips colored in Tumeric are yellow for acidic or neutral solutions and brown in alkaline solutions.
In many Aryvedic practices, the herb is often used for internal solutions and occasionally topical treatments such as for wounds or sores.
The most important ingredient in Tumeric is Curcumin. It has anti inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. In order to receive the full benefits of Curcumin, it must be eaten with black pepper, which contains Piperine, which increases the absorption of the Curcumin by 2000%.
While short term inflammation doesn’t pose a problem in the body, and is actually a very important healing process in the system. However, when it comes to chronic, or long term, inflammation, we want to combat the issues.
“It is now believed that chronic, low-level inflammation plays a major role in almost every chronic, Western disease. This includes heart disease, cancer, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer's and various degenerative conditions.”
Curcumin may have enough anti inflammatory that it may match anti inflammatory drugs. At the molecular level, curcumin blocks the inflammatory pathway. In addition to its anti inflammatory effects, Tumeric and Curcumin increases antioxidant capacity in the body, improves brain function, and may help lower your risk of heart disease.
Tumeric can be taken in pill form, or in powder form and is an excellent additive to many cooking adventures. Below is a recipe for Golden Milk, an excellent morning time drink that fights inflammation.
Heat concoction in a sauce pan and drink warm.